Live 9 vs Bitwig – Why Bitwig Studio is Beta

Steven James

Steven James is a Music Technology Professional with over 7 years in the Music Industry now working as the Digital Specialist for Guitar Guitar Digital - #notjustguitars Also Label Owner at Warped Bridge Records and the Administrator for Bitwig Beats Unofficial Community.

  • im truly with you !!! bitwig have everything that i wish for long time for ableton … !!!!
    cant wait to hear read and see some more of the future features of bitwig !!!!

    and yeah i mean why they put so much time in there devices ?! many people are using like you say third party plug ins that sound much better …

    • but what i really wanted for this push kontroller is that it has more arrangment view features … but yeah thats my wish ^.^

    • i mean little things like multiscreen support and BETTER MIXER view =D
      some interesting effect devices like the ready to use split frew device and some others ;D
      hope that the speed and workflow is like in ableton or even faster and better dindt have the chance to test the beta :-/ but cant wait for the full version !!!

  • i don’t know. i really want bitwig to succeed even though i don’t want to learn a new daw but honestly, people are growing inpatient and ableton just announced their v9, so they’ve lost people already. unless they start to actually inform people of what’s going on people are gonna grow tired of waiting for what seems to be nothing but vaporware at this point. where are the beta reviews? where are the videos, and feature previews? we know literally nothing more about it now than we did 6 months ago.

  • stevenjamespro

    Bitwig are simply still making sure the software is ready even in Beta phases. You have to remember Ableton Live 9 is not officially released commercially until 2013 (they never quoted when exactly but from my experience it will be by the end of the first quarter). Bitwig of course still have time to get the software ready before then and announce an official release with prices and things. Remember Ableton have had 10 years+ to develop Live 9, where as Bitwig have only had 3 years to get it to this stage.

    Things like the Sandbox feature where if a plugin fails it won’t crash the whole software and lose what you have been working on the past 2 hours is a massive bonus feature which works extremely well in the Beta I am running. These type of features are what people have been crying out for in Ableton Live and more-so in Logic!

    You can’t say you are growing impatient and Ableton has beaten Bitwig to the finish line as it hasn’t even been released commercially yet, just announced. Patience is a virtue – Bitwig Studio is just around the corner 😉

    • Jayson Joyce

      Steven, I understand your points and I get the problems/issues/growing pains of Bitwig as they complete the software with limited people/time/money compared to Ableton. But this is my issue and I think the frustration that most people that do this for a living feel. I was a Logic user that used Ableton for the 30 free trial and loved it. it had some improvements to make and then i heard about Bitwig and it seemed like a lot of good ideas. That was back in May.

      What I find strange is that even through there is a beta and people are testing it, there is no news, youtube videos, comments or anything concrete on how it works in comparison to Live, Logic, Cubase, etc. We all know that it crashes, it should it is a beta product, but what I want to know is more info like you wrote in the article- The Bitcrusher is warmer than Live’s. Everyone that makes a music product thinks that they have made the best one. That’s why Musicradar has the top 15 DAW’s in the world and there are 100,000 Plugins all doing variations of reverb, gate, delay, and filter. What matters is that when you actually use it does it work and more importantly how does it work (the workflow) compared to what is currently available. I’m amazed that there are no videos or anything-that’s why people keep calling it vaporware. Even yourself, a beta user and the moderator of this site shares very little in actual work experiences on the beta.

      The reason that people say “I’m going to Live 9 and forget Bitwig its taking too long” is that 1) Ableton has laid out what there are doing in Live 9 so the paying customer can plan for the purchase if they want and more importantly 2) there are giving you for a limited time 25% off Live 8 with a free upgrade to Live 9. I don’t know about everyone else but as a working producer that hasn’t won a grammy ;-] , cash isn’t raining down and I need to plan out what I spend and get deals if possible. I can’t just ignore 25% off on a product that is really good hoping that a product know one says anything about is a little better.

      If i don’t hear anything concrete, and purchase Live 8 Suite for $599, then Bitwig comes out great – we both lost because I don’t have $599 to keep spending, I’ve got plugins, samples, singers, monitors,etc. to spend money on.

      So if you could please share some info- I know that there are things they want to keep secret, I get it, but a constant stream of small “experience the the beta” info is what people are looking for. The top secret testing doesn’t work for people that have to watch every penny and plan on purchases ahead of time.

      Thanks for the site-love your passion for the product

  • muziksculp

    Hi, I’m currently a Cubase 6.5 user, and have been patiently waiting for Bitwig Studio to materialize, and take real form. I feel it would be a great complementing DAW to Cubase 6.5, or possibly Cubase 7, by the time Bitwig Studio is finally released. (I never used ableton Live, and don’t plan to use it) I’m all the way in favor of Bitwig Studio, I would love to see Bitwig Studio released before the end of this year, but if that doesn’t happen, I will still be very happy if it is released by no later than Q1-2013, and would love it if Bitwig Studio is officially released before Live 9 😉

    Meanwhile, a bit more official info. from the Bitwig Headquarters as to what they are cooking for us, some video presentations of some of the unique features it will offer, …etc. would make waiting a lot more fun.

  • itchy

    i wish ableton buys bitwig and all those homies can get along.
    i love the feature set in bitwig but not sure if i can handle another daw.
    just want to make music and put money for tools in a company that is focused on making great software and not just focused on money and business. if you make good stuff the money will be there.

  • Ableton have left the educational world by dropping edu pricing overnight without notice. Many of us are left with Live who had the intention to upgrade to Suite next term….only to have that option taken away. Bitwig could easily win over the academic customers from Ableton purely by honoring their word and matching the standards that they are promising. I cannot wait to see bitwig in action.

  • chris

    full midi sysex support please!!

  • Peter Solty

    I met Dominik last Saturday @Musikmesse 2013 , for me as a former Rocket Network user, the interesting parts are online collaboration (with 2.0); and the modular structure and scripts for controllers, a demo will be aviable at release time this year.

  • Fuk all that!

    It works on Linux! THAT is the main feature a ton of people are looking for!

  • Anton

    “just around the corner” – almost 1 year later… the corner is still there 😉
    In one year (or many years, depending if and when Bitwig ill be available) you can make a lot of music. And if you have a product and are satisfied with it you stick to it. Even if there is a better alternative…

  • Robert

    Here’s the main thing I really need to know personally…
    for what I do personally, this and AL9 would give me the same
    capabilities, and although I see definite benefits to each, it would
    come down to price. getting the upgrade to Live 9 Standard would cost me
    only $329 (there’s a sale until June 24th), and I’m willing to wait a
    few months if Bitwig would be cheaper than that, since money is tough
    for me while I’m still job hunting.

    • Ry

      If Bitwig comes out before the end of 2014, I’d be shocked.

      • Robert

        Dr. Dre’s Detox will be out before Bitwig

  • Paweł

    the Glue compressor by Cytomic is actually considered the best or at least one of the best compressors on the market by many.

  • Anton

    How long is this gonna take? Zzzz…. Boring!!

  • Ry

    Fact: It’s easier to improve on someone else’s idea (Ableton) than create your own. Bitwig may end up the better DAW, however it’d never exist if they hadn’t blatantly ripped off Live.

    • They didnt rip Ableton Live off, remember they were part of the Original Ableton developer team. They helped to make Ableton what it is today. Also there are some features Ableton promised which have been forgotten and Bitwig are going to implement such as online collaboration.

    • Robert

      boom. MySpace may have won the first battle, but facebook won the war

  • Ry

    In all honesty, Ableton should just pull “a Bitwig” and incorporate features unique to Bitwig. The Bitwig release is probably taking so long because they’re trying to lock up patents to prevent Ableton returning the favor.

  • Very Misunderstood

    I think you guys have unrealistic expectations. Ableton Live has proved it remains agile despite the 10 years of development. You seem to think people will not use its instruments and go down the VST route but I think it’s the other way around. The more Ableton offers out-of-the-box, the less third party tools users will eventually use. It’s the typical business model Apple uses too, Ableton will strike to lock it’s users in its platform. They have fully functional instruments with potential to extend through Racks, a very user friendly hardware product (Push) to control the environment, very powerful audio design features through MAX integration and rich sound library and documentation to support the product.

    Despite the above, I will happily test Bitwig but unless you guys focus on a specific niche, for example making it easier for users to collaborate online on projects, I don’t see how you can beat them with a strategy focused on providing an ‘improved’ generalist DAW

  • Andreas

    “In my opinion some of the effects in Bitwig Studio sound a lot more warmer and richer than Ableton Live’s which can seem very ‘glassy’ at times. For example, if someone uses the Bitcrusher in Ableton Live, it has a sonic quality that you know when you hear it in a track somewhere that the track has been produced in Ableton Live. The Bitcrusher in Bitwig Studio just seems all that more richer someway if a Bitcrusher can actually sound richer??”

    I don’t have to read further, you are one of those audiophile “gold ears”. Why are you comparing only the bitcrusher? I think because it is the worst effect in Live and every other built in sounds as great as in Bitwig Studio.

    But don’t get me wrong, i really anticipate the release of Bitwig Studio because of the Linux support. Furthermore, if they make a good job, it will be the first useful DAW on Linux.
    If Bitwig gets all the promised features and will be released any time soon then it could really change the market, because Linux is so much better for working with audio than Windows.

  • gj

    Honestly the main difference between Ableton and Bitwig is that I can use Ableton now, but Bitwig will be usable in unknown amount of time. I need to work now – so there is no comparison really possible. When Bitwig will have public beta (if ever), that we will be able to compare and discuss

  • Guest

    What is this dumb website all about? It’s based completely on hearsay and hyperbole regarding a product that hardly anyone has used yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to Bitwig (even if the app has a really stupid name), and even after nine versions, Ableton Live has a lot of room for improvement. But Live has probably been used on tens of thousands of recordings and it’s easy to forget how revolutionary it was at first. If you can’t make music with Live, you need to go to law school or something.

  • greenfly

    “As far as I know Bitwig Studio is also just around the corner and it is still too early to decide just yet. Neither software releases are available yet.”

    Says it all…..

  • Almark

    As the saying goes “Put your money where your mouth is.” I’ll be waiting for the release of this fine product, it does look very promising. But remember, we Ableton users love our Ableton. I happen to love Ableton and Renoise together, so I’m sure in time I would feel the same to all 3. All tools sharpen each other.

  • miscend

    Lol the author cant have been serious when he writes about Cytomic’s the Glue. All in all the article is incredibly one-sided.

    “Really? Although a very nice compressor, I am sure if a user wanted a
    better compressor than the standard one built-in they would simply
    purchase a renowned plugin built by Waves, UAD or iZotope for example.
    Glue really isn’t an attractive feature that would seal a deal.”

    Cytomic’s the Glue is a highly renowned bus compressor. It is regarded in the industry as the one of the best if not the best SSL bus compressor emulation out there. It’s one of the most analogue sounding compressors there is.

    Having to purchase a UAD or an Izotope compressor is actually an additional expense the user has to make. UAD cards don’t come cheap. The Waves compressors are not in the same league.

    • Blablah

      Dude he is talking about abletons glue compressor. Your offended because u didnt read.

      • Nites MSMLMVNW

        Ableton’s Glue compressor is Cytomic the Glue

        • Benjamin Ravikumar

          buhahaha!!!! blablah jus got BURNTT!!!!

  • daslicht

    Will the Bitwig Sampler be a Multisampler? How about the Drum Sampler, is it compare able to Lives Drumrack ? Screenshots or at lest specifications for both would be very nice please.

    • Sean Canton

      Yes, BitWig has a Drum Rack, and a MultiSampler. BitWig uses a modular approach towards building instruments, not linear, like Ableton. This allows it to be MUCH more flexible.

      • daslicht

        Ok, what abount AHDSR Envelopes ? Are they in Bitwing available? How about a oneshot mode (both not available in Live)? Will there be a Push integration?

        • Sean Canton

          No AHDSR, sorry, there is a synth with ADSR envelopes.
          One shot, what do you mean by this? There is a pretty cool ‘Container’ called Replacer that just hits one note for any audio signal going into it. Push is an open book, it will be up to the community or BitWig to make a Push integration. That’s one of the beautiful parts about it. No support for your device? Or do you want your device to do things it has never done before? You can script your control surface.

          • daslicht

            OneShot Envelopes come from machines such as the MV8000 or MPC.
            Essentially once the envelope is triggered it will alway fully run from start to beginning despite how long how hold the Trigger.

            Regarding Push integration, sounds tediuou to implement this all alone, especially the Scale integration, Step Sequencers (poly, monophon) etc.
            But lets see where this leads to 🙂

          • daslicht

            How fast is the clip preview in the browser? faster than possible , is it possible at all to export compete clips (inclusive midi + instrument + effects + preview) and prelisten them?
            It would be lovely if it would be as fast as in Studio One!

      • Bass Cadet

        to be fair, ableton’s is a bit more “tree” than linear if you counted chains. Still tho: pretty excited to see if it’s gonna live up to the hype and i’m dreaming of all the craycray i’m going to try and put it through 😀

  • Sean Canton

    I’d like to say that Live only has decent built in instruments because of a partnership with Applied Acoustics. And Live doesn’t have any drum modelers.

  • daslicht

    Does Bitwig have a global tuning (usefull to play live with acoustic instruments which are NOT tuned to 440Hz)? How about custom scales as it is possible in Logic X?

  • Flipp

    One thing about live is push for me. And i´m using hardware synths and the integrated instruments now, instead of maybe better vst´s just because of the out of the box push mapping. Thats a big plus for me. Every hardware groovebox, and this is live for me has its limitations but thats not a big thing. A lot of things are possible. Make a script for push that works the same like with live and pxt live and i will give it a try. Competitiors are always good for the market. I bet ableton will improve too.

  • stuxx

    This comparison is just plain ridiculous. Bitwig doesn’t even work on release, because they released a beta that is broken everywhere an want money for it.

  • JesterMgee

    This article should be retitled “why I personally think think bitwig is better than live” because I see someone straining to find things “better” than another DAW. Some things listed are not even “things better” like the Audio to MIDI which works very well in Live 9 is not even an option in Bitwig yet. Also Ableton does (though yes it took a while) clip automation. I cannot comment on Bitwig because I haven’t used it and I am a very happy Live user but also would like to see this DAW innovate too. Still astounds me why people HAVE to make the “this hammer is better than that hammer” argument. Possibly the users just don’t know how to use their hammers. TI am sure that as Bitwig innovate their software we will also see matched innovations from Ableton.